Roman Empire Timeline

  • 27 BC: Octavian becomes Emperor and assumes the title Augustus.

  • 25 BC: Galatia is annexed as a Roman province.

  • 23 BC: Marcellus dies.

  • 19 BC: The Cantabrian Wars (29-19 BC) end with the pacification of the Cantabri and Astures.

  • 16 BC: Raetia and Noricum are conquered and annexed as provinces.

  • 12 BC:

    • M. Vipsanius Agrippa dies.
    • Drusus the Elder begins his German campaigns across the Rhine (12-9 BC).
  • 9 BC:

    • Drusus the Elder dies after falling off his horse whilst on campaign in Germania.
    • Pannonia is also annexed and incorporated into the province of Illyricum.
  • 2 BC: Julia, the daughter of Augustus, is convicted of adultery and treason and is exiled.

  • 2 AD: Lucius Caesar dies of a sudden illness in Massilia.

  • 4 AD: Gaius Caesar dies of his battle wounds in Lycia.

  • 6 AD:

    • The Great Illyrian Revolt (6-9 AD) starts.
    • The province of Judaea is created after Augustus deposes Herod Archelaus.
  • 9 AD: The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

    (c) Total War
  • 10 AD: The province of Illyricum is divided into the provinces Pannonia and Dalmatia.

  • 14 AD:

    • Augustus dies on 19th August and is succeeded by Tiberius.
    • Germanicus is appointed commander of the Roman Army in Germania to quell a mutiny and begins his campaign to recapture the lost eagles.
    (c) CNG Coins
  • 17 AD: Tiberius annexes Cappadocia, organising it into a province, and Commagene after the death of his cleint kings.

  • 19 AD: Germanicus dies in Antioch, possibly being poisoned on Tiberius’ orders.

  • 23 AD: Drusus Julius Caesar, son of Tiberius, dies.

  • 26 AD: Tiberius retires to Capri, leaving Sejanus in charge of Rome.

  • 29 AD: Livia Drusilla, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius, dies.

  • 31 AD: Sejanus is executed on Tiberius’ orders.

  • 37 AD: Tiberius dies on Capri. He is succeeded by Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus.

  • 38 AD: Tiberius Gemellus is killed on the orders of Caligula.

  • 41 AD: Caligula is assissinated by members of his Praetorian Guard, who then acclaim Claudius emperor.

  • 42 AD: Mauretania is organised into the provinces of Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Tingitana.

  • 43 AD:

    • The Roman Invasion of Britain begins.
    • Claudius annexes Lycia as a province.
    (c) Notuncurious
  • 46 AD: Odrysia is annexed and becomes the province of Thrace, after its client king is killed.

  • 48 AD: Claudius executes his third wife, Valeria Messalina, for treason.

  • 49 AD: Claudius marries his niece Agrippina the Younger.

  • 50 AD: Claudius adopts Nero as his son.

  • 54 AD: Clauius dies and is succeeded by Nero.

  • 55 AD: Claudius’ son Britannicus is poisoned on the orders of Nero.

  • 58 AD: The Roman-Parthian War (58-63 AD) begins over the new ruler of Armenia.

  • 59 AD: Agrippina the Younger is killed on the orders of Nero.

  • 60 AD: Boudica’s Revolt (60-61 AD) begins.

    (c) Peter Dennis
  • 64 AD: The Great Fire of Rome.

  • 65 AD: The Pisonian Conspiracy is uncovered.

  • 66 AD: The First Jewish War (66-73 AD) begins.

  • 68 AD:

    • Nero commits suicide after being declared an enemy of the state.
    • Galba is acclaimed Emperor by the Senate.
  • 69 AD: The Year of the Four Emperors

    (c) Steerpike
    • 15 January: Galba is assassinated by the Praetorian Guard and replaced by Otho.
    • 16 April: Otho commits suiced after being defeated by Vitellius, who becomes Emperor.
    • Revolt of the Batavi begins.
    • December: the Senate recognises Vespasian as Emperor.
    • 22 December: Vitellius is executed by soldiers loyal to Vespasian.
  • 70 AD: Siege of Jerusalem – Titus breaches the walls, sacks the city and destroys the Second Temple.

  • 73 AD: The Siege of Masada.

    (c) Jean-Claude Golvin
  • 77 AD: Cn. Julius Agricola is appointed Governor of Britannia.

  • 79 AD:

    • Vespasian dies and is succeeded by Titus.
    • Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
  • 80 AD: The Colosseum is completed.

  • 81 AD: Titus dies of a fever and is succeeded by his brother Domitian.

  • 85 AD: Agricola is recalled to Rome.

  • 86 AD: Domitian’s Dacian War (86-88 AD) begins.

  • 89 AD: The Revolt of Saturninus.

  • 96 AD: Domitian is assissinated in a palace plot and is succeeded by Nerva on the wishes of the Senate.

  • 98 AD: Nerva dies and is succeeded by his adopted son Trajan.

  • 101 AD: 1st Dacian War (101-2 AD) begins.

  • 105 AD: 2nd Dacian War (105-6 AD) begins.

    (c) Weapons and Warfare
  • 106 AD: Nabataea is annexed by Trajan and organised into the province of Arabia Petraea.

  • 107 AD: Dacia is organised into a province.

  • 113 AD: Trajan’s Parthian campaign (113-117 AD) begins.

  • 115 AD: The Kitos War (115-117 AD) begins.

  • 117 AD: Trajan dies and is succeeded by Hadrian.

  • 118 AD: Hadrian withdraws from Armenia, Assyria and Mesopotamia.

  • 122 AD: Construction of Hadrian’s Wall begins.

  • 132 AD: The Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 AD) begins.

  • 138 AD: Hadrian dies and is succeeded by Antoninus Pius, who he adopted earlier in the year.

  • 142 AD: The construction of the Antoninie Wall begins.

  • 161 AD:

    • Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
    • The Roman-Parthian War (161-166 AD) begins.
    (c) Carole Raddato
  • 165 AD: The Antonine Plague (165-180 AD) is brought back from the East.

  • 166 AD: The Marcomannic Wars (166-180 AD) begin.

  • 169 AD: Lucius Verus dies, leaving Marcus Aurelius as sole ruler.

  • 180 AD: Marcus Aurelius dies and is succeeded by his son Commodus.

  • 184 AD: The Antonine Wall is abandoned.

  • 192 AD: Commodus is assassinated in a place plot.

  • 193 AD: Year of the Five Emperors

    (c) Totalus Rankium
    • 1 January: Pertinax is acclaimed Emperor by the Praetorian Guard.
    • 28 March: Pertinax is murdered by the Praetorian Guard, who sell the imperial purple to Didius Julianus.
    • 9 April: Pescennius Niger is acclaimed Emperor by the legions in the East.
    • 14 April: Septimius Severus is acclaimed Emperor in Pannonia.
    • May: the Senate recognise Severus as emperor and sentence Julianus to death.
  • 194 AD: Septimius Severus defeats Pescennius Niger at the Battle of Isus.

  • 196 AD: Clodius Albinus is acclaimed Emperor in Britannia.

  • 197 AD:

    • Septimius Severus defeats Clodius Albinus at the Battle of Lugdunum.
    • Severus’ Parthian campaign (197-8 AD) begins.
  • 208 AD: The Roman Invasion of Caledonia (208-210) begins.

  • 211 AD: Septimius Severus dies at York and is succeeded by his two sons Caracalla and Geta. Geta is murdered later in the year on the orders of Caracalla.

  • 212 AD: Caracalla gives Roman citizenship to all free men of the Empire.

  • 217 AD: Caracalla is assassinated whilst on campaign in the East. He is succeeded by his Praetorian Prefect Macrinus.

  • 218 AD: Macrinus is captured and executed by the legions loyal to Elagabalus, who succeeds him.

  • 222 AD: Elagabalus is assassinated and succeeded by his cousin Alexander Severus.

  • 230 AD: The Roman-Persian Wars begin.

  • The Crisis of the Third Century (235-284 AD):

    235 AD: Alexander Severus is murdered in a mutiny at Mainz and is succeeded by Maximinus Thrax.

    238 AD: Year of the Six Emperors

    • 22 March: Gordian I and Gordian II are acclaimed Joint-Emperors in Africa, which is later ratified by the Senate.
    • April: They are killed in the Battle of Carthage by Maximinus’ forces.
    • 22 Aprill: Pupienus and Balbinus are elected Joint-Emperors by the Senate. Gordian III is elected Caesar.
    • May: Maximinus is murdered in a mutiny at Aquileia.
    • 29 July, Pupienus and Balbinus are murdered by the Praetorian Guard and are succeeded by Gordian III.

    244 AD: Gordian III is killed at the Battle of Misiche and is succeeded by his Praetorian Prefect, Philip the Arab.

    249 AD: Philip the Arab is killed in battle by the forces of Decius, who becomes Emperor.

    251 AD

    • Decius is killed at the Battle of Abritus by the Goths.
    • Trebonianus Gallus is acclaimed Emperor by the Danube legions, while Hostillian, Decius’ son, is appointed by the Senate.
    • Hostillian is adopted by Trebonianus but later dies of the Plague of Cyprian.

    253 AD

    • Trebonianus Gallus is murdered in a mutiny at Terni. The army then acclaims Aemilianus as Emperor.
    • Aemilianus is killed by his own soldiers as Valerian’s army approaches, who is then appointed Emperor.

    256 AD: The Sassanid Persians conquer Antioch.

    260 AD

    • Valerian is taken captive by the Persians during peace negotiations. His son and co-emperor Gallienus becomes sole ruler.
    • The Gallic Empire breaks from Rome under Postumus.

    264 AD: Valerian dies in captivity.

    267 AD: The Palmyrene Empire splits from Rome under Zenobia.

    268 AD: Gallienus is killed by his own soldiers, who acclaim Claudius II as Emperor.

    269 AD

    • Postumus is murdered by his own soldiers and succeeded by Marius and then Victorinus.
    • Zenobia conquers Egypt.
    • Roman forces defeat the Goths at the Battle of Naissus.

    270 AD

    • Claudius II dies and is succeeded by his brother Quintillus.
    • Quintillus dies at Aquileia.
    • Aurelian becomes Emperor.

    271 AD: Victorinus is murdered and is succeeded by Tetricus.

    272 AD: Zenobia is apprehended escaping to the Sassanids.

    273 AD: Palmyra rebels and is destroyed.

    274 AD: Aurelian defeats Tetricus at the Battle of Chalons.

    275 AD: Aurelian is murdered by the Praetorian Guard and Tacitus is chisen to succeed him by the Senate.

    276 AD:

    • Tacitus dies.
    • Probus is acclaimed Emperor by his forces in the East, Florianus is acclaimed by his forces in the West.
    • Florianus is murdered by his own troops near Tarsus after being defeated by Probus.

    282 AD: Probus is assassinated after Carus is elected Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. Carus names his sons, Carinus and Numerian, as Caesars.

    283 AD: Carus dies.

    284 AD: Numerian dies and Diocletian is acclaimed Emperor by the forces in the East.

  • 285 AD: Carinus is defeated by Diocletian at the Battle of the Margus.

  • 286 AD:

    • Carausius declares himself Emperor in Britain and Northern Gaul.
    • Diocletian proclaims Maximian augustus of the West, ruling himself as augustus of the East.
  • 293 AD:

    • Diocletian establishes the Tetrarchy, appointing Constantius Chlorus caesar of the West and Galerius as caesar of the East.
    • Constantius Chlorus conquers Carausius’ Gallic territories.
    • Carausius is murdered by Allectus, who succeeeds him.
  • 301 AD: Diocletian issues the Edict on Maximum Prices, reforming the currency and setting price ceilings on a number of goods.

  • 303 AD: Diocletian issued his first edict against Christians, calling for the destruction of Christian holy books and places of worship and stripping Christians of their government positions and political rights.

  • 305 AD: Diocletian and Maximian abdicated. Constantius and Galerius were elevated to augusti. Galerius appointed Flavius Valerius Severus caesar in the West and Maximinus II caesar in the East.

  • 306 AD: Constantius Chlorus dies at York and his son Constantine is acclaimed Emperor by his troops.

  • 311 AD: Diocletian dies.

  • 312 AD: Constantine defeats Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

  • 330 AD: Constantine moves his capital to Byzantium and renames it Constantinople.

    (c) Byzantium1200
  • 337 AD: Constantine dies.

  • 410 AD:

    • Rome is sacked by the Visigoths under Alaric I.
    • Roman rule in Britain ends.
  • 455 AD: Rome is sacked by the Vandals.

  • 476 AD: Odoacer deposes Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman Emperor, and declares himself King of Italy.

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